The United States of America will on August 22, impose new sanctions on Russia, despite claims by Washington of wanting to have a “good relationship” with its Eastern European rival. The US State Department confirmed that the ban is related to Russia’s alleged role over the Novichok poisoning of an ex-Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia in the United Kingdom in March. The department officials estimated that the sanctions might affect hundreds of millions of dollars worth of exports, dealing a blow to about 70 per cent of the Russian economy. However, Moscow has described the impending sanctions as a declaration of “economic war”. Speaking on the latest development, Dmitry Medvedev, Russian Prime Minister, promised to retaliate against the US measures. He said, “All I can say is if they ban banking operations or the use of any currency, we will call it the declaration of an economic war. “And we’ll have to respond to it – economically, politically or in any other way, if need be. Our American friends should make no mistake about it.” According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the US sanctions will possibly include a ban on foreign assistance to Russia and sale of military and dual-use items to the country, as well as renunciation of providing state loans and other financial aid.